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[Rumor]: Maple Leafs Close to Signing Konstantin Okulov?

Are the Toronto Maple Leafs close to landing Konstantin Okulov? It appears the forward and head coach Mike Babcock are already talking on the phone.

NHL Maple Leafs Rumor: Konstantin Okulov
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The news that the Toronto Maple Leafs are ahead of the pack when it comes to landing KHL forward Konstantin Okulov might just be true.

Speculation was that the Maple Leafs were scaring off other teams — all but the Montreal Canadiens apparently — and they were the front runners to land Okulov in the hopes that he could provide some less-expensive options for their offense which is heavily loaded at the front.

Igor Eronko of Sport-Express confirms that Okulov is already speaking with the Maple Leafs, specifically coach Mike Babcock, on the phone. If teams weren’t sure the Maple Leafs were leading the pack before, they should know it now.

There was no specifics provided by Eronko on what the two sides talked about but the likelihood would be where he fits on the roster as the 24-year old scored 20 goals and 31 points last season and probably isn’t looking to come over to the NHL just to sit, be a healthy scratch of be demoted to the Marlies if he doesn’t come in and contribute right away.

Why Would the Maple Leafs Be Interested?

The Maple Leafs interest has to be obvious for most keeping a close eye on this situation. The team has so much money tied up in only a few players and they have a nightmare situation coming up when it comes to their blue line that finding talent elsewhere is critical to their long-term success and ability to remain competitive.

In other words, the Maple Leafs need to find that inexpensive diamond in the rough that knocks it out of the ballpark on the cheap. They believe Okulov has the potential to do just that.

This worked with Ilya Mikheyev who is producing for the Maple Leafs right now at under $1 million. The hope is they can finding lightning in a bottle twice.

Next: [Rumors and News]: Oilers Gagner Up But Not In, McDavid Held Pointless, Hall Buzz

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  1. Pingback: Don Cherry Fired: Where Sports and Consideration for Others Intersect – NHL Trade Talk – Hockey Rumors

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